Delta’s operation and meteorology teams continue to keep a watchful eye on Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to intensify into a Category 1 Hurricane by the time it makes landfall along the Gulf Coast Tuesday evening.
Strong winds at airports in Gulfport, Miss., and Mobile, Ala., are expected to be outside operational limits and as a result, Delta will delay Tuesday’s evening flights at GPT and MOB until Wednesday morning, pending an assessment of facilities and area infrastructure.
Along with heavy rains, at issue is Gordon’s anticipated wind direction relative to those airports’ runway configuration. As is the case at all airports, runways are aligned with the prevailing wind direction as aircraft are best suited to take off and land into the wind for better performance. When the wind direction is perpendicular to the runway, it’s called a crosswind and can make landing challenging and potentially unsafe. A slight crosswind is allowable and can be safely managed, but a strong crosswind associated with a hurricane will exceed allowable limits.
Disruptions aren’t expected in New Orleans, Destin or Pensacola, though Delta continues to monitor the track of the storm.
As the storm continues inland and returns first to a tropical storm before downgrading to a tropical depression, significant rainfall and flooding are possible.
Ahead of Gordon’s impact, Delta issued a weather waiver to provide added flexibility for those customers flying to, from or through several airports along the Gulf Coast, including:
- Baton Rouge, La. (BTR)
- Destin, Fla. (VPS)
- Gulfport, Miss. (GPT)
- Lafayette, La. (LFT)
- Mobile, Ala. (MOB)
- New Orleans (MSY)
- Panama City, Fla. (ECP)
- Pensacola, Fla. (PNS)